Overall mortgage application volume fell significantly last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, as interest rates continued to climb, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

The market composite index, which measures total home loan volume, dropped to 647.6 last week, down 10.2 percent from 721.2 a week earlier. The seasonally adjusted refinance index decreased by 14.6 percent to 1,968.8 from 2,304.4 the previous week, and the purchase index decreased by 5.9 percent to 436.5 from 463.8 one week earlier.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 50.8 percent of total applications from 52.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity sank to its lowest level since October 2003, falling from 24.9 percent to 23.6 percent.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.1 from 6.02 percent, with points including the origination fee decreasing to 0.93 from 1 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

Points, which are fees charged by lenders for loan processing, are expressed as a percent of the total loan amount.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 5.82 percent from 5.75 percent. Points including the origination fee decreased to 0.99 from 1 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs grew to 5.82 percent from 5.76, with points including the origination fee increasing to 0.83 from 0.81 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

Washington, D.C.-based Mortgage Bankers Association is a national association representing the real estate finance industry. The survey covers approximately 50 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage originations, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.

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